Dharma Wheel

A Buddhist discussion forum on Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism
It is currently Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:49 am

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Forum rules


Please click here to view the forum rules



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 

Which of the following best represent your approach to discussions on Buddhism?
Accommodationist 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Apologist 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Comparativist 11%  11%  [ 2 ]
Constructivist 11%  11%  [ 2 ]
Critic 11%  11%  [ 2 ]
Interpreter 11%  11%  [ 2 ]
Post-traditionalist 26%  26%  [ 5 ]
Secularist 5%  5%  [ 1 ]
Traditionalist 16%  16%  [ 3 ]
True Believer 11%  11%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 19
Author Message
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 5:53 am 
Offline
Founding Member
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 11:54 pm
Posts: 1229
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Greetings,

In this recent topic over at Dhamma Wheel...

Thought-provoking new blog
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=8377

... we were introduced to a blog that used some thought-provoking classifications for different types of Buddhists - http://speculativenonbuddhism.wordpress.com/categories/ - split by their approach to understanding and discussing the Dhamma, rather than necessarily by their tradition.

As a point of discussion, what do you think of the following categories.... and as a bit of an ice-breaker, there's a poll for you to nominate which ones (if any) you think best classifies your approach. In keeping with the quote below, I've allowed up to four selections per voter.

Speculative Non-Buddhism wrote:
The categories that I am working with–and of course invite you to work with as well–are as follows. Please bear two points in mind. First, my reason for using categories like these is to capture basic rhetorical thrusts in Buddhist teaching and writing. I am interested in teasing out the strategies and approaches taken in the contemporary discourse on Buddhism. Giving names to these approaches is an attempt bring some clarity and differentiation to the material. Second, these categories are not in any way derisive (i.e., categorization is not name-calling). I, personally, value certain approaches over others. To be honest, I do not respect all equally. Some, I feel, are damaging to human beings. In other words, like you, I have my biases and opinions. But, the point to this categorization is to name and illuminate and understand, not to castigate. That being said, let’s permit a range of emotions and tones to manifest. Let’s range from bland to spicy, as fits the dish being served up. Can we do so in obeisance to philosophia, love of wisdom? The categories:

Accommodationists. Writers, teachers, etc., in this vein know better, but let be. That is, their rhetoric suggests avenues of critique or even contradiction; yet, they leave these pathways unexplored. Why? In order to preserve the Buddhist status quo.

Apologists. For whatever reasons, these figures seek to have Buddhist teachings, theories, practices, etc., come out on top. Thus, they act in defense of Buddhism. Quite often, they must resort to logical contortions and, more seriously, omission of contrary evidence. But not always, of course; sometimes they do indeed correct misunderstandings and misrepresentations.

Comparativists. They have proficient knowledge of other teachings and systems, as well as a robust interest in the Buddhist versions of whatever it is they are treating. And they use this knowledge to illuminate via contrasts and comparisons.

Constructivists. They seek effective application of Buddhist teachings and practices, yet often recognize the need for adaptation and innovation. Such writers and teachers are less concerned with upholding tradition than with finding new uses.

Critics. They offer insightful queries, which, given the nature of criticism, often threaten fissure. They are not concerned with ameliorating this fissure.

Interpreters. They explain, clarify, expound on the teachings of the Buddha. They make it all make sense. They tend to be benign. They value description over analysis, since the latter, done well, veers toward critique.

Post-traditionalists. Like traditionalists, they uphold the values gleaned from the Asian dispensation of Buddhism. However, they seek a renovation of the archaisms and (certain) superstitions favored by their Asian patriarchs. They do not want a new house, only a freshly painted one with, perhaps, a modern kitchen.

Secularists. They hold the values of modern scientific methodology, such as evidence-based claims, critical thinking, rigorous debate, and the coruscating light of reason. While respecting tradition, they seek a contemporary application.

Traditionalists. They are committed to the forms–doctrines, practices, beliefs, etc.– that are preserved in Asian institutional structures. Some of these structures are of ancient or medieval origin, some are modern. They espouse pre-scientific worldviews. They axiomatically adhere to archaic cosmologies. They often believe in a world animated by spirits and hidden forces. They know no other possibility.

True Believers. They raise the (western) Buddhist banner. They heart Buddhism, though “Buddhism” is always proscribed by their particular school. Some true believers, of course, literally love all things Buddhists. This person, I think, is a peculiarly recent, North American type. They subscribe to some version of “One Dharma,” and are desirous of finding unity in diversity.

Each of these categories is easily coupled with others. For instance, comparative work may be done with an apologetic intent; interpretive work, in the search for new constructions. Someone may be doing three or four things at once. An awareness of variegated strategies and intentions will prevent us fro, too quickly pigeonholing an author, teacher, etc.

Maitri,
Retro. :)

_________________
Live in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, blending like milk and water, viewing each other with kindly eyes

Dhamma Wheel (Theravada forum) * Here Comes Trouble


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 6:09 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:31 am
Posts: 1782
I-don't-care-ist

Kind regards


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 10:28 am 
Offline
Former staff member
User avatar

Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Posts: 4203
Location: Budapest
Too vague, too many categories.

_________________
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 10:36 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:39 pm
Posts: 783
some of those descriptions are rather unflattering. Not exactly an unbiased range of choices based on that.

Ignoring those however, I'd say I am probably closest to a traditionalist constructivist interpreter.

_________________
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 10:37 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:39 pm
Posts: 783
Astus wrote:
Too vague, too many categories.


aren't the tow usually exclusive of each other?

_________________
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 11:39 am 
Offline
Global Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 5:02 am
Posts: 1140
Well (with a bit of post-modern upaya) doesn't it depend upon the context?

If someone new to Buddhism wants information: interpreter.

If some long time Buddhist is being dogmatic: critic.

If some one from outside of Buddhism begins a discourse: comparativist.

etc etc


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 11:50 am 
Offline
Founding Member
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 11:54 pm
Posts: 1229
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Makes sense to me, Tobes...

Maitri,
Retro. :)

_________________
Live in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, blending like milk and water, viewing each other with kindly eyes

Dhamma Wheel (Theravada forum) * Here Comes Trouble


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 1:38 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm
Posts: 5773
I think I'm more of an interpreter and post-traditionalist, but deep down I want to be a true believer minus the sectarianism.

_________________
Need help getting on retreat? Want to support others in practice? Pay the Dana for Dharma forum a visit...

viewtopic.php?f=114&t=13727


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 1:40 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Posts: 5986
Location: Taiwan
I'm so Zen I don't need no darn approaches. :buddha1:

_________________
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog) Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog) Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog) Dharma Depository (Site)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 1:48 pm 
Offline
Former staff member
User avatar

Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Posts: 4203
Location: Budapest
Anders Honore wrote:
aren't the tow usually exclusive of each other?


A group of vague categories. Not exclusive then. :) As Tobes said, it can depend very well on context. I can use any of those approaches to Buddhism.

_________________
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 12:55 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:15 am
Posts: 13
I'm an ironic alt-modern post-traditionalist, inspired by early Italian neo-realism and Anarcho-Juche thought.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 17 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group